The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a book in which the main character, Amir, is haunted by those things; haunted by his words and actions and, even more so, haunted by the impact that those words and actions had on people he loved.
The book starts as a story of an idyllic and peaceful childhood. Yes, it was a childhood full of questions, as they all are, but it was a time of peace. Then fear and worry begin to creep in. Realizations that the world doesn't necessarily view things the same way his twelve year old eyes do. And a realization that his eyes would have to change.
Turning into a coming-of-age story, we begin to see how Amir will be forced away from the peace of his childhood. And then things change dramatically with his actions. With his words, he forces away some of those he loves -- those who offered him the majority of his support system.
At the same time, his country, Afghanistan, is thrown into chaos ... and Amir begins spiraling downward, all the time seeking redemption but unsure of his ability and strength to gain redemption in the eyes of man.
Full of twists and turns, this book pulls you from one chapter to the next. I normally read books fairly slowly, catching a few snippets of time here and there to spend with them. But this book forced me to keep reading, completing it in just a few days.
I have for some time been taken by reading and learning about eastern cultures. I am not sure what it is. I think it is because you can see that "fight from a position of principle" concept in them, often until the more western "fight from a position of strength" philosophy comes in and overwhelms all else.
I suppose it's natural, though. Our country was founded on principle, not strength but, as any society or culture develops, people begin to see that strength will defeat principle ... on this earth.
The Kite Runner is a powerful and astonishing story. It is at times a horribly painful story to read because of the strong voice presented by the main character. But, in that, you see an honesty and a candor ... a genuineness ... that we all can relate to.